The Northern Lights Arts Council (NLAC) invites one and all to get steamrolled by art. Dave Machacek, the artist and creative genius behind this event, has been traveling across the region with ArtOrg based in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, to bring this fun way of printing to all ages. “Thousand Print Summer” takes place on Saturday, August 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Langdon City Park.
By Melissa Anderson
“Our mission is to promote the arts and provide fun activities for adults and kids in our county, and we thought this could be a successful event to do just that,” NLAC Director Amber Benoit said.
Machacek explained that the event originated when he created large 4 foot by 8 foot woodblock prints for some artists back in 2005. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts took note of this and tasked Machacek with the challenge of developing this technique for a smaller scale event for one of their family days.
“I then went on to get a grant from Forecast Public Art and the Jerome Foundation to further develop the concept in 2008,” Machacek shared.
The event has been held 180 times this summer, creating nearly 12,000 prints. The public art event puts a twist on traditional printmaking by using a small steamroller rather than a press. Attendees will be given the materials to create their own printing block. Typically, the creation of the block takes about 30 minutes, but once the people get started- it doesn’t take long for the creative itch to spread.
“Usually within 5 minutes, their parents come back and get materials for their own print, too!”
Once completed, the block gets inked, placed on a piece of paper, and ran over with the steamroller. The finished product is a one-of-a-kind print created by one-of-a-kind artists.
“Everyone should come because they can learn printmaking and can show off their creativity,” Machacek said. “The kids at our August 17 event will have the opportunity to make prints about the Spartan Missile or the Pyramid in Nekoma or really anything they want to!”
The NLAC is always looking to try new events. When this opportunity was presented to them, they felt it would be perfect for the end of summer. Benoit explained that the unique take on creating art gives those who attend the chance to do something new.
“It isn’t what you think of when you think of “traditional” art. How often do you have the opportunity to use a steamroller to make art? It is something that most people probably haven’t ever done before,” Benoit said.
Machacek is not only the artists for this event but also the acting director for ArtOrg and has been working to expand the reach of art and creativity within the area. To get some steam rolling for this, Machacek reached out to the NLAC to have an event sooner rather than later.
“We offered this event to the Northern Lights Arts Council for free, as we are working to establish our reputation in the Langdon area for further projects,” Machacek shared. “For example, we are working with the Cavalier County Jobs Development Authority to do projects around the Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex in Nekoma.”
NLAC invites everyone to visit the Facebook event page for any future updates and to see a video of what to expect!